College Football Week 1 Potential Upsets
The Auburn Tigers, who last covered the spread in a season opener five years ago, start this season as 20-point favorites at Bovada over the Arkansas Razorbacks.
A 10/1 bet in national championship futures wagering at Bovada, Auburn has many new faces on defense, and has to deal with the distraction of both quarterback Nick Marshall and cornerback Jonathon Mincy not starting the game for disciplinary reasons on Saturday against Arkansas.
The Razorbacks fell 35-17 to Auburn last November, but have won on three of their past four visits to Auburn, SU and ATS, and with a vastly improved ground game led by running back Jonathan Williams cannot be taken lightly by Auburn.
But the two games where the betting public will be happiest if the underdogs lose are Florida State vs Oklahoma State and LSU vs. Wisconsin.
"From what I hear, the public is heavy on FSU (-17.5) and LSU (-5), so if the underdogs don't cover, it will be a hit for the house on opening weekend," said Jack Randall.
The Ohio State Buckeyes start a season of uncertainty as 16-point road favorites over the Navy Midshipmen at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. With redshirt freshman JT Barrett taking over as the Buckeyes' starting QB from the injured Braxton Miller, and Navy employing a triple-option offense that will severely test the defense, this is more than a tuneup game for Ohio State.
An early Navy lead could spell ATS trouble for Barrett in his debut as a starter. The upside for the Buckeyes remains their ground game, which was fifth in the nation in 2013, and could be heavily relied upon this season to keep the Buckeyes’ national championship hopes alive.
The Georgia Bulldogs host the Clemson Tigers on Saturday as 7.5-point favorites at Bovada. The Dawgs will look to RB Todd Gurley’s strength on the ground to fuel a potent offense, but could struggle defensively with three of four starters from last year’s secondary gone.
The Tigers start the season with senior Cole Stoudt at QB, following the departure of Tajh Boyd. Stoudt may not be as prolific as Boyd, but his passing game could prove capable of exploiting weakness in Georgia’s D.
Add to that the Dawgs’ awful 3-8-2 record ATS in 2013, highlighted by four outright losses as favorites, including a 38-35 loss to Clemson in last season’s opener, and this could be the game to watch this weekend.
The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs are 2-14 SU when playing a season opener on the road; a trend likely to continue on Saturday when they visit the Oklahoma Sooners as 38-point underdogs.
The Sooners experienced massive turnover in personnel this offseason, including the loss of three RBs and two wide receivers, but with the offense run by QB Trevor Knight, pegged at 18/1 in Heisman Trophy betting, Oklahoma will score points on Saturday.
However, Louisiana Tech's solid offense returns largely intact and is capable of scoring points of their own, which could turn this game into a shootout making it tough for the Sooners to cover.